Author: Lex Croucher
Publisher: Bonnier Books UK
My rating: 4 Stars
Genre: Romance – Historical Fiction – LGBTQ
📖 There was three words on the cover of this book that quickly persuaded me to buy it, “Booksmart meets Brdgerton.” Historical fiction is my favourite genre. Bridgerton is one of my favourite TV shows, so it was inevitable this book would end up in my shopping basket and I’m pretty pleased it did!
✍️ This book follows Edith ‘Eddie’ Miller and her best friend Rose Li as they set off into society. Eddie has dreamed all her life of being a writer, when Rose starts to talk of marriage and society dances, at first, Eddie is unimpressed, then she comes across Nash Nicholson, renowned poet and rival to Lord Byron. Eddie is over-awed. When the married Nash starts to pay her attention, Eddie is flattered. Nash is known for his non-comforming views of society, something which she shares. When he offers to take Eddie along with an eclectic group of friends out to his country pile, Eddie cannot refuse, this is her chance to fulfil her writer dreams surrounded by interesting and intellectual people.
👓 The book is fun, particularly the dynamics around Eddie’s not overly traditional family were a lot of fun and I suspect this is where the Bridgerton comparison comes into play. The siblings all taunt and tease one another, yet in general enjoy each other’s company and are a lot of fun. I wonder if the author will revisit this family in future novels as I think there is a lot of potential here.
👫 Eddie as a character is a bit whiny for my tastes. I don’t know how else to describe it so I’m going with that. Supposedly the smart one, literary one, she makes a rash of bad decisions and doesn’t particularly leave you championing her happily ever after in the way you would with most protagonists. In contrast, Rose is a very likeable character.
🗺 This story was almost a story of two halves and a story of two locations. The first set in London, sees Eddie as quite immature, sulky and spoilt. Yet, much loved amongst her family. The second half focusses on Eddie’s experience in the country and is very much a coming-of-age journey and a sexual awakening.
💔 Any negatives? Not a negative but I feel like this author is one to watch. This book is great, I enjoyed it but if I am honest, I think they have something better up their sleeve. Whether that’s expanding more on the world she created in this book, or a completely different one entirely I can’t say. It feels like this author is emerging and I expect will get better and better.
💭 Overall View: Smart, funny, and different take on a historical regency-style romance novel. I look forward to reading more by this author. <i>
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